Comments on: Review: SilverScreen 2.5

Eventually, most hard-core Palm users get tired of the "plain jane" application launcher and look around for something more snazzy. One of the most popular Launcher replacements is SilverScreen with it's user-configurable themes and VFS support. Davy Fields has this review of the latest version.
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Don't like it

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:20:30 PM #
Tried it on my Sony Clie T615 and don't like how it looks. A hi-res version might be worth considering.

Anybody here anything new about Launcher X? According to its website it's still "coming soon". How long has it been, 2 years?

RE: Launcher X
Ed @ 3/26/2002 3:26:06 PM #
While it may seem like two years if you are really anticipating its release, the sneak preview of Launcher X appeared only two months ago:

News Editor
RE: Don't like it
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:30:24 PM #
I can appreaciate the fact that it seems like 2 years - I don't know why they would advertise that it will be released soon and then not be able to deliver. I am sure that many have gone the way of megalauncher.

I really like SS on my 505, but with my 615 it just doesn't do it. I had a hard time switching to megalauncher, but I have become very happy with it.

I would like somehting a little less boxy looking - hopefully launcherx will be out soon, or evern a Hi Res SS.

RE: Don't like it
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:36:06 PM #
Thanks to a post at, I've learned that the LauncerX release has been significantly delayed due to some personal issues in the developer's life. The reason it was announced 2 months ago is because it was supposed to be released a month and a half ago. the developer hopes to release it in April.
I'm a long-time SilverScreen user, but I'm very much anticipating the release of LauncherX.
Please don't hold it against the developer for the delay, there were circumstances beyond his control.

RE: Don't like it
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:40:57 PM #
I find SS a bit goofy looking with some its "skins" - hopefully launcherx will be a "cleaner" looking launcher.

I heard a hi-res version is coming
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:52:03 PM #
I complained about the lack of a hi-res version as well. Someone at PocketSensei techsupport told me that a hi-res version was coming out pretty soon.

RE: Don't like it
Lock @ 3/27/2002 10:44:54 AM #
> Please don't hold it against the developer for the delay, there were circumstances beyond his control.

Ok, but I think a small message on the page can help ppl to think he's working on the project.
It seems totally abandoned... No changes at all in the page... :

Love at first sight, but...

Altema @ 3/26/2002 3:26:04 PM #
OK, so I'm a speed freak who only recently gained enough self control to turn FastCPU off (don't worry, any battery related tests were always done with it off). I only want to move around quickly and get the job done, but I love SilverScreen and keep the demo in my archive folder on SD. Sometimes I will load it just to gaze at those beautiful screens in full 16bit color, and then delete it when I get tired of the screen delays. Perhaps they could cache the card app list instead of reading the information each time? They have a winner, and I am going to check out this version too, and if there is a workaround to the speed problem, I'll buy it ASAP.

Far from the ultimate Palm application launcher
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:40:28 PM #
I tried the latest version of Silver Screen, but I found that it was very slow. It seemed as though it always wanted to check and refresh the applications on my MS. If they would cache them or give me that option on when to refresh I think it would be a much better application. So unless they speed it up, I will stick with Meaglauncher until/if launcherX is released.

"Indecision may or may not be my problem"

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:45:34 PM #
This is why I don't like these eye-candy Launchers. It slows my m515 down too much. Palm should buy one of these companies and just integrate the best candy into the OS.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 6:22:31 PM #
this speed is verry slow on my palm vx with fast cpu.

Way TOO slow!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 9:38:49 AM #
The real purpose of any launcher is to launch another application. SilverScreen is way too slow for practical use. I suppose their next icon will be the infamous MS hourglass as you spend so much time waiting for the thing to load.

RE: Love at first sight, but...
Altema @ 3/27/2002 3:08:01 PM #
Ok folks, I had a chance to play around with it and get some better speed out of SilverScreen.

One advantage of SS is that, unlike the default Palm launcher, you can place the icon for any card application on any of the menus. This lets you have your favorite app showing on the main menu, even though it is really on the card. Cool feature, but here is the problem when you exit an application and get back to SilverScreen; IF there is an application on the last used menu screen which is loaded on the expansion card, THEN SilverScreen will scan the card's entire /Palm/Launcher folder, determine which applications belong on the menu, sort the list, Then display the menu.

I may be wrong, but that is what appears to be happening. A successful workaround for me entailed creating an expansion card category for those applications on the card, and assigning the card apps to that category.

I know, it's too much like the default launcher setup this way. But, you get the cool appearance of SS, minus the speed hit. Or, you could just keep the card app icons off your main menu so SS does not scan the card every time. I might buy this after all...

Perhaps someone from PocketSensi can throw in their two cents?

RE: Love at first sight, but...
Altema @ 3/28/2002 10:34:09 AM #
Here's a new update. SilverScreen appears to be caching the menus now that the card apps are isolated. One change I did make to my setup is moving all the game icons on the card to the games category, and leaving the remaining card apps in the card category. Speed is good now, except when exiting McFile which forces a fresh card read. I'm going full tilt with all hacks, SS, full time sidelight, and overclocking to 44Mhz to see what happens to the battery...

(seatbelt ON!)

RE: Love at first sight, but...
Altema @ 3/28/2002 4:15:47 PM #
Battery still hanging tough at 60% after more than 3 hours continous runtime under worst case scenario mentioned in last post. Sidelight on full time, spent almost an hour gaming, and 20 minutes reading during a meeting with the sidelight on maximum, let three or four videos run through multiple times, and performed two full backups to SD card. Rest of the time was spend on spreadsheets and relational databases. Should work out to about 6.5 or 7 hours total before recharge under these extreme conditions. Can't think of any other way to run it down quicker except by looping a movie with sound until it dies, or shorting out the battery. Not bad for a little matchbook sized power source!

44Mhz is a little overkill, even with every hack turned on, so I'm going to slow it down to maybe 38 or 40 to get back some of the battery life. No problem from SilverScreen yet, screen changes are still instant except for the pause when exiting card apps and McFile. Now, where did I put that charge card?..

RE: Love at first sight, but...
Altema @ 3/28/2002 8:10:29 PM #
Ok, last post on this thread before the story drops from the PIC homepage. I give up... I can't kill my Palm battery in a reasonable amount of time. I thought it was going to give up the ghost between 6 and 7 hours of continous use,.. but now it looks like 8 hours easy, and may even get as far as 9 hours of overclocked, overhacked, overloaded use on one charge.

I'm sick of games and it's still going strong.

I quit! Palmie wins.

Lefties Still Not Wanted?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 4:06:37 PM #
I tried SS a while ago and things might have changed, but SS does not support Lefty. It's an app that sets some bit in the OS telling it to draw scrollbars on the left so that left-handed people aren't having to block the screen with their hand while their trying to scroll down. AFAIK, apps are supposed to check for this bit and adjust where it draws things. SS ignores this bit and you wind up with lots of space on the right and icons and the scrollbar overlapping. It's ugly and difficult to control.

I sent them email asking about Lefty support and they replied with "it's not a big deal as we have few left-handed users." Of course they have few left-handed users! They don't me and I would have been happy to register SS at the time if it had Lefty support. Being left handed, I don't care how pretty your launcher is, if you refuse to consider me as a potential customer, I'm not going to go out of my way to give you my money.

RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
GregGaub @ 3/26/2002 6:11:06 PM #
While I agree that Lefty support should be broader, you need to understand that Lefty is a 3rd party solution, NOT part of the PalmOS. The guy who wrote Lefty wanted to make a preference that is open to all applications to read. It's entirely up to the individual application developers to decide to support the Lefty preference or not. Like you, I wish more of them did, but it's certainly not mandated or required by anyone official. Still, requesting that developers support Lefty, and giving them the link so that they can look into it, is always a good idea.

RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 6:44:21 PM #
Oh, I understand that it's 3rd party, but if you _do_ request it and send them a link and they blow you off saying it's not worth the bother and their app works like crap with Lefty turned on (I'm not going to turn off Lefty just for this one app), then I will (and did) take my money elsewhere.

RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 7:25:51 PM #
Geez - these app developers probably dont have time to address all the requests that they get.

Lay off dude!!

RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 8:47:20 PM #
-Geez - these app developers probably dont have time to address all the requests that they get.

-Lay off dude!!

It's a simple request, most apps already do it. Unfortunately most left-handed people have made themselves fit into what is available, and don't think about making the request. This guy did. With this company, laziness stepped in and they did not get the money.

RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 2:57:39 AM #
I'm a left hander and proud of it! However, I have to say us left handers have to put up with a lot in a right handed world. From working with right handed computer mouses to working with right handed dental chairs (I'm a dental student and I've got to tell you it's very awkward). If a company has the time to look after its users, even the minority, then I'll look after that company. However, if they don't, don't I have a right not to buy their product and tell others that they are not willing to look after their customers? I think this is what my fellow left hander is trying to do; and I applause him on his endevour. As a side note, is there a place where I can find out what Palm apps support Lefty or other left handed preferences??

All PalmOS Users UNITE!

RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 11:53:27 AM #
I completly agree. For those of you who tell us to "lighten up", are you left-handed? If not, then you have no right to tell us that. It IS a hassle having the scroll bar on the right side. Don't get me started on the stylus on the right side design. Granted we are a minority, but our spending dollar is just as important and our issues should be considered.
I've spent my entire life adapting to a right-handed world. It would be nice to have a left-handed option for many things without having to pay more for it...Dammit!

Ok, rant over.


RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
Lock @ 3/27/2002 12:05:49 PM #
Lock, lefthanded, here... :]

RE: Lefties Still Not Wanted?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 7:02:19 PM #
Hey lighten up! I guess I am allowed to tell you this because I am a lefty. I am also a developer so my view might be a little tainted that way...

Lefties Unite! :)
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/28/2002 11:36:41 PM #
Who cares about Palm vs. Sony fans (I love all devices). How about Lefties vs. Righties (Just kddding). As a lefty, it is hard to use alot of things, including palm programs. I adjust, but don't put us down for having problems in a righty world.

I don't get it?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 5:26:35 PM #
I don't know what all the facination is with these launchers. I don't spend any time on a launcher, I spend all my time in the app ( via runwrite and switchhack ). I am either in ActNames, Quicksheets, address book, bankbook, avantgo or noah. I am bouncing from app to app that going to a launcher in between would really slow me down. Maybe because I use my palm for work or to manage my life. I am always working on things to do, people to call, recording sales. Am I the only one? I must be because SilverScreen is consistantly in the top 5 apps sold.

RE: I don't get it?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 6:30:53 PM #
Some of us use more than 10 apps quite frequently, and also like to have a launcher to manage the copious quantities of shareware we try out. SilverScreen handles moving and deleting files better than the built-in launcher, and since there are a very wide variety of apps I may need at any time (and since SwitchHack doesn't fully support removable media), I need to use the launcher.
I'm not saying your reason for not needing a launcher replacement is invalid, I'm just saying not to assume that people who use these launchers don't use their handhelds for work or to manage their lives. It's just that many of us require literally dozens of applications to do this.

RE: I don't get it?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 6:31:08 PM #
I tried MegaLauncher and removed it for the same reason - I went from app to app and it slowed me down.

I do like extra information provided on a constant basis like free memory, etc.

The feature in Launcher III that turns off the constant refresh does speed things up quite a bit - I just never found that capability in MegaLauncher (maybe I missed it).

RE: I don't get it?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/29/2002 1:16:14 AM #
You're not the only one. I do see why some people find add-on launchers to be useful, but like you I spend the majority of my time with just a small number of applications, bypassing the launcher altogether when possible.

On the other hand, I do like the launcher that comes standard on Clies. It's based on the Palm launcher, but allows more icons to be displayed (using hi-res), allows selection and even movement between categories with just the jog dial, and provides free memory info for the handheld and memory stick by tapping on the battery icon (even though this is a non-intuitave place to tap for such information).


Stefanos @ 3/26/2002 7:01:32 PM #
The problem I have with Silver Screen is that I also use PiDirect. When I need to perform a reset, PiDirect needs to be re-activated. As a result, the categories on Silver Screen are messed up. The multitude of apps I have on the MMC card go back to 'Unfiled'. I would like to rely on categories, but it is ipossible this way. I may be doing something wrong, if so, please correct me.

RE: Categories
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 7:27:45 PM #
Try downloading Quicksilver from palmgear. It reactivates SS after a reset.

An extra 5 seconds is worth it!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 7:59:05 PM #
Silverscreen is a very cool and useful app! I've used it since its first version and absolutely love it. Yeah, it is a little slow loading, but to me its worth it to pick up all the functions. It's super with the memory cards on my m505, and I really like being able to rename apps.

Pocketsensei's customer service is super, too!

launcher X release?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 9:12:21 PM #
Anybody know when Launcher X will release?

RE: launcher X release?
Ed @ 3/26/2002 9:42:34 PM #
Please read the thread titled "Don't like it" for the answer to this question.

News Editor
RE: launcher X release?
akiy @ 3/27/2002 11:56:54 AM #
Looks like there's a new "unveiled" image of Launcher X here:


There's no release date given yet, though.

RE: launcher X release?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 4:24:16 PM #
Mmmmm "Homer" button. Doh!! hahahaha

No thanks...

Foo Fighter @ 3/26/2002 11:51:49 PM #
Silverscreen sucks. There is no way to create your own custom themes, so you have to settle on the small selection of mediocre themes offered by the developer. And there is no hi-res support.

Thanks, but I'll take LauncherX..when it becomes available.

RE: No thanks...
dethblud @ 3/28/2002 12:33:52 AM #
You actually can make your own Silverscreen themes. It's just that nobody knows about the page explaining how. Try this link.

RE: No thanks...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/28/2002 2:07:23 AM #
Well it looks like they will accept artwork from the public and they'll make the skin for you if they think it's cool enough. What I wonder is what are the terms of the artwork you submit? Do they suddenly get all exclusive rights to it?

RE: No thanks...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/28/2002 8:45:22 PM #
oh just go download launcher X and shut up!

RE: No thanks...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2002 11:01:45 PM #
you can just use prc edit and edit the resources yourself, assuming you have the time to add each one in manually.

My view

Kaitou @ 3/27/2002 12:18:59 AM #
My first palm was a IIIx, and I never saw the need to switch launchers... after all it did everything I wanted, and I could access any more needed features easily, plus it was fast, and takes up a minimum of screen real estate.
When I got the Clie N760C, I once again looked over launchers, and the only one that fit the crieteria was crsLaunch - freeware, small, fast, easy to use, maximum applications, minimum real estate usage.
So to my view launchers like this are pleasant eye candy, but really not much more. After all I do not need 1/3rd of the screen taken up by a trash can and a beam icon, and it's very slow.
Just a personal view, YNMV

RE: My view
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 12:36:19 AM #
Not flaming you...but if you were to use the program, you will find out that the trash can and others will minimize when not in use. And when you drag an icon, it automatically pops up. I was under the same impression as you before I used it, but now I have, I find it very useful and it doesn't take much screen space up. And the ability to sort the things according to size or name is great too. Too many thing to mention, but I am looking forward to LauncherX as well, as those kind of lauchers are easier to navigate with the tabs on the sides.

Why does everything always get a good review here?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 12:34:11 AM #
Seems like just about every review I see on Infocenter is well above average, with a few exceptions every now and then. This program is not that great, and in my mind not worth five stars.

Personally, I go other places to get reviews because they rate products tougher. This is the king of Palm news, but the reviews are always glowing and never hard enough on the faults of almost ANY product...

RE: Why does everything always get a good review here?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 1:45:32 AM #
Just a guess, but it could be given the sheer intensity of Palm Products out there, only the best and well-known ones can be reviewed, thus getting high scores.

RE: Why does everything always get a good review here?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 7:21:15 AM #
Thanks for chiming in. Sometimes it surprises me to see comments on topics where the answer is so obvious. I am HAPPY to see positive responses on products; it certainly can not balance out the negativity that some people like to post about anything related to Palm Os.

RE: Why does everything always get a good review here?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 8:20:27 AM #
what is the url for the alternative review site?
i also like to see different reviews on products and it
helps to make a more informed decision to even d/l and
try software when you can see different viewpoints on
the usefulness of the software. so, don't bogart that
url, pass it around!

SilverScreen 2.5 vs. PowerRun

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 9:16:17 AM #
I've been using PowerRun for quite some time now and recently installed SilverScreen 2.5. SilverScreen 2.5 has a capability where you can move an app to a VFS card (SD 64MB in this instance) so I tried a comparison of loading Blackjack! (92K) from PowerRun and from SilverScreen with out any hacks.

PowerRun: 5 seconds to load
SilverScreen: 3 seconds to load

The time was arrived at counting one one thousand, two one thousand, ...

I'm considering removing PowerRun and switching all of my VFS loaded apps to SilverScreen and was wondering if anyone knew why there was a speed difference. Is there a difference in what is being copied? Also when loading with PowerRun, my free memory was 666K, with Silver Screen, 663K. Perhaps the difference is in any additional data for SilverScreen to track the application.

RE: SilverScreen 2.5 vs. PowerRun
nategall @ 3/27/2002 12:40:45 PM #
I thought that PowerRun moved the application and ALL related data file. I am not to sure if SS does the "related" files bit.

that would account for the change in speed.

Just another un-informed option.

nategall says "blah!"

Better and better

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 10:32:08 AM #
SilverScreen is the only launcher...and one of very few Palm apps to consistently release updates that address user comments. As for complaints about a lack of themes, SilverScreen was the first to offer them and has over 10x the number offered by the competition. As for speed I have found it faster than the default launcher in every instance. I suspect a lot of flamers have never fully explored the app's many capabilities. The new LauncherX looks like Launcher III copying heavily from SilverScreen. The toolbar on the bottom (a rip-off of the same pioneered by SilverScreen) even has copied the retract button down to it's shape. I imagine copyright lawyers are salivating somewhere.

RE: Better and better
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 10:33:39 AM #
In one of the streams above the user complains that themes cannot be designed by third parties. But they can and I have! Check out

I love it!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 11:17:08 AM #
I've been using SS since 1.0. True, there were some growing pains but the support has been great and the product has gone through some good improvements. The support for SD memory cards is GREAT! I can pop out a card and pop in a new one and SS remembers where all my icons should be.

I'd still like to have a Theme creator and I'm sure they have one in the works. And the performance is a whole lot better than it used to be.

Agreed that the critical posts are by folks that have not fully explored the capabilities of this great program. And NO, I don't own stock in the company.



I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 11:23:42 AM #
I'd still go for Megalauncher. Though it doesn't have the nice looking skins (a few are available though in megasoft's website), Megalauncher is for the power-users.

RE: MegaLauncher
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 2:28:04 PM #
I too am a MegaLauncher man. It does it all. Loads fast, has VFS support, categories, you can change app names, work with files, etc. -- and it looks cool. I've read posts in this space and others from people who've had problems with it ... as for myself, I have yet to experience my first difficulty. For my money, MegaLauncher is the best option available. I'm done.

RE: MegaLauncher
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 4:17:45 PM #
Yet another vote here for MegaLauncher. It is an extremely powerful and well-thought-out tool.

But I have a question:

What ever happened to Launch'Em? Weren't they supposed to come out with a version that supported VFS and maybe the Clie's high resolution?

Launch 'Em

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/27/2002 4:19:24 PM #
What ever happened to Launch' Em? Weren't they supposed to come out with a version that supported VFS and maybe the Clie's high resolution?

If and when a new Launch 'Em and LauncherX arrive, I'd LOVE to see a four-way comparison among the following:

* LauncherX
* Launch 'Em
* MegaLauncher
* SilverScreen

It's my opinion that SilverScreen will be at most the fourth-best Palm launcher.

RE: Launch 'Em
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/29/2002 1:40:43 AM #
For a person without the need for VFS or high resolution, Launch 'Em is totally my dream launcher. It has so many features that I use without a second though.

I've recently tried out a few other launchers, and actually replaced Launch 'Em with Megalauncher for a few days, but I totally missed all of Launch 'Ems features. eg A great feature is being able to choose what to delete when deleting an application (application, data and/or preferences). That can come in REAL handy.

So for anybody who has no need for VFS, don't overlook Launch 'Em. It will rock your world.


I.M. Anonymous @ 3/28/2002 11:16:08 AM #
The only thing I do not like about Silver Screen is the ticker. Initially it was what made me want to get the program, but when I put it on my m130 I found that the ghosting effect of my device blurred the moving screen. I like the Today Screen app I found though, it was free. Does anyone know of any other programs like this (today)?

Not quite there yet...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/28/2002 4:35:01 PM #
I would love to use SS but they STILL do not fully integrate the Jog Dial. When you try and use the Jog it can only move the screen up and down, rather than selecting applications within a screen. Anyone know about plans to fix this?

Launcher III

jmstroup @ 3/29/2002 11:38:22 AM #
Launcher III is a much cleaner interface and it doesn't hog so much screen space. It is my choice by far.



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